Siol nan Gaidheal

Recommended Reading

The following books may assist readers in a better understanding of Scotland's history and culture. They have been suggested by members of the Forum, and by members of SnG as worth reading. They may contain statements with which we do not agree totally, but overall have much to recommend them. They are split into several categories. Publisher, date of publishing and ISBN numbers are given (where known) to assist in tracking copies down. Last updated: 26th January 2006

Scottish History:
Alston D - "Ross and Cromarty, a historical guide", Birlinn, 1999 ISBN 1874744488
Barrow GWS - "Kingship and Unity : Scotland 1000-1300", 1981
Barrow GWS - "Robert Bruce", Edinburgh University Press
Bower W - "Selections from Scotichronicron", Mercat Press, 1998 ISBN 1873644841
Butter R - "Kilmartin", Kilmartin House Trust, 1999 ISBN 095336741X
Campbell M - "Argyll, the Enduring Heartland", House of Lochar, 2001 ISBN 1899863826
Campbell M - "Alexander III", House of Lochar, 1999 ISBN 1899863559
Cowan EJ - "For Freedom Alone", Tuckwell Press, 2003 ISBN 1862321507
Devine TM "The Scottish Nation: A History 1700-2000", Penguin, 2000 ISBN 0140230041
Donnachie I & Hewitt G - "Dictionary of Scottish History", Harper Collins 2001 ISBN 0007121857
Ellis PB & Mac a'Ghobhainn S - "The Scottish Insurrection of 1820", Birlinn, 1970/2001 ISBN 0859765199
Fraser GM - "The Steel Bonnets", Harper Collins, 1971 ISBN 0002727463
Gerder P - "Stone of Destiny", Canongate, 1997 ISBN 0862416701
Gourlay R - "Sutherland - an Archaeological Guide", Birlinn, 1996 ISBN 1874744440
Hamilton I - "The Taking of the Stone of Destiny", Corgi, 1991 ISBN 0552138983
Henderson JA - "The Town below the Ground", Mainstream, 1999 ISBN 1840182318
Holmes N - "Scottish Coins", NMS Publishing, 1998 ISBN 1901663027
Hunter J - "Last of the Free: A Millenial History of the Highlands and Islands", Mainstream, 1999 ISBN 1840183764
Hunter J - "Glencoe and the Indians", Mainstream, 1996 ISBN 1840180013
Jackson A. - "The Pictish Trail - Traveller's Guide to the old Pictish Kingdoms", 1989
Jillings K - "Scotland's Black Death", Tempus, 2003, ISBN 0752423142
Johnston T - "Our Noble Scots Families", Argyll Publishing, 2001 ISBN 1902831012
Logue KJ - "Popular Disturbances in Scotland, 1780-1815", Edinburgh, 1979
Macleod J - "Highlanders: A History of the Gaels", Sceptre, 1996 ISBN 0340639911
Macleod J - "Dynasty - The Stuarts 1560-1807", Hodder & Stoughton, 1999 ISBN 0340707666
Marsden J - "Alba of the Ravens; In search of the Celtic Kingdom of the Scots", London, 1997
Marsden J - "Somerled and the emergence of Gaelic Scotland", Tuckwell, 2000 ISBN 1862321019
Marsden J - "Galloglas - Hebridean and West Highland Mercenary Warrior Kindreds", Tuckwell, 2000 ISBN 1862322511
Moffat A - "Before Scotland - the story of Scotland before history", Thames and Hudson, 2005 ISBN 050005133X
Murray WH - "Rob Roy MacGregor", Canongate, 1995 ISBN 0862415381
Newton M - "A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World", Bodmin, 2000
Nicholson H - "The Knights Templar - a new history", Sutton, 2001, ISBN 0750938390
Oram R - "Moray and Badenoch - a historical guide", Birlinn, 1996 ISBN 1874744467
Osborne BD & Armstrong R - "Scottish Dates", Birlinn, 1996 ISBN 1874744408
Prebble J - "The Lion in the North", Penguin, 1971 ISBN 0140056459
Prebble J - "The Highland Clearances", Penguin, 1963 ISBN 0140028374
Prebble J - "Culloden", Penguin, 1961 ISBN 0140025766
Prebble J - "The King's Jaunt", Fontana, 1988 ISBN 0006374670
Prebble J - "Mutiny - Highland Regiments in Revolt 1743-1804", Pimlico, 2001 ISBN 0712667180
Reid AG - "Annals of Auchterarder", Perth & Kinross District Libraries, 1989 ISBN 0905452046
Roberts JL - "Lost Kingdoms: Celtic Scotland and the Middle Ages", Edinburgh, 1997
RCAHMS - "Pictish Symbol Stones, an Illustrated Gazeteer", RCAHMS, 1999 ISBN 1902419073
Ross DR - "On the trail of William Wallace", Luath Press, 1999 ISBN 0946487472
Ross DR - "On the trail of Robert the Bruce", Luath Press, 1999 ISBN 0946487529
Ross DR - "On the trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie", Luath Press, 2000 ISBN 0946487685
Ross DR - "A Passion for Scotland", Luath Press, 2002 ISBN 1842820192
Ross DR - "Desire Lines - a Scottish Odyssey", Luath Press, 2004 ISBN 1842820192
Ross DR - "For Freedom - the last days of William Wallace", Luath, 2005 ISBN 1905222289
Saltire Society - "Why Scottish History Matters", The Saltire Society, 1991 ISBN 0854110488
Scott AM & Macleay I - "Britain's Secret War", Mainstream Publishing, 1990 ISBN 1851583130
Scott PH - "1707 - The Union of Scotland and England", Chambers
Scott PH - "Scotland - an Unwon Cause", Canongate, 1997 ISBN 0862417007
Scott PH - "The Boasted Advantages: The consequences of the Union of 1707", The Saltire Society, 1999 ISBN 0854110720
Scott RM - "Robert the Bruce", Canongate, 1996 ISBN 0862416167
Scott T - "Tales of Sir William Wallace", Gordon Wright Publishing, 1997; ISBN: 0903065894
Smout TC- "Scotland and Europe 1200-1850", John Donald
Smout TC (Ed) - "Scotland and the Sea", Edinburgh, 1992
Smout TC - "A Century of the Scottish People 1830-1950", Fontana, 1987 ISBN 0006861415
Smout TC - "A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830", Fontana, 1985 ISBN 0006860273
Smout TC - "Scottish Voices 1745-1960", Fontana
Sutherland E - "In search of the Picts" ISBN 0094750106
Sutherland E - "The Pictish Guide", Birlinn, 1997 ISBN 1874744661
Tomasson K - "The Jacobite General", Blackwood, 1958
Tranter N - "The Story of Scotland", NWP 1987 ISBN 1897784074
Tranter N - "Tales and Traditions of Scottish Castles", Neil Wilson Publishing Ltd, 1993; ISBN: 1897784139
Watson WJ - "History of Celtic Placenames of Scotland", Irish Academic Press
Whately CA - "Bought and Sold for English Gold", Tuckwell Press, 2001 ISBN 186232140X

Historic Scotland do a couple of excellent series of books, some of which are listed below :
The Making of Scotland series - excellent short books ideal for older children.
"Wild Harvesters" - The first people in Scotland
"Farmers, Temples and Tombs" - Scotland in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
"Settlement and Sacrifice" - The later Prehistoric people of Scotland
"Surviving in Symbols" - A visit to the Pictish Nation
"A Gathering of Eagles" - Scenes from Roman Scotland
"The Sea Road" - A Viking voyage through Scotland
"Saints and Sea-Kings" - The first Kingdom of the Scots
"Angels, Fools and Tyrants" - Britons and Anglo-Saxons in Southern Scotland AD 450-750
Ashmore PJ - "Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland", Historic Scotland, 1996 ISBN 0713475315
Foster SM - "Picts, Gaels and Scots", Historic Scotland, 1996 ISBN 0713474866
Ritchie A - "Picts", Historic Scotland, 1999 ISBN 1900168782

Scottish Culture:
Bain G - "Celtic Art - The Methods of Construction", Constable, London
Banks Iain - "Raw Spirit - in search of the perfect dram", Arrow, 2004 ISBN 0099460270
Bennet M - "Scottish Customs from the Cradle to the Grave", Polygon, 1992 ISBN 0748661182
Beveridge C & Turnbull R - "The Eclipse of Scottish Culture", Polygon
Broadie Alexander - "Why Scottish Philosophy Matters", The Saltire Society, Edinburgh, 2000, ISBN 9780854110759
Bruce DA - "The Mark of the Scots", Citadel Press, 1998 ISBN 0806520604
Campbell JF - "More West Highland Tales", Birlinn, 1994 ISBN 1874744238
Dorward D - "The Glens of Angus", Pinkfoot Press, 2001 ISBN 1874012253
Douglas, RM - "The Scots Book", Maclehose, 1935
Ferguson W - "The Identity of the Scottish Nation", Edinburgh, 1999
Freire Paolo - "Cultural Action for Freedom", Harvard Educational Review
Freire Paolo - "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", Penguin
Freire Paolo - "Education - The Practice of Freedom", Writers & Readers Publishing Co-op
Grant IF - "Highland Folk Ways", RKP
Henderson JA - "The Emperor's New Kilt: the two secret histories of Scotland", Mainstream, 2000 ISBN 1840183780
Hewitson J - "Scottish Miscellany", Black and White, 2003 ISBN 1902927842
Leyburn JG - "Scotch-Irish: A Social History", North Carolina University Press
Macdonald M - "Scottish Art", Thames and Hudson, 2000 ISBN 0500203334
Mackay G - "Scottish Placenames", Lomond, 2000 ISBN 1842040103
Mackenzie A - "The prophecies of the Brahan Seer, Constable, 1877/2001 ISBN 0094784604
Osborne and Armstrong - "Scotch Obsessions", Birlinn, 1996 ISBN 1874744688
Pittock MGH - "Celtic Identity and the British Image", Manchester University Press, 1999 ISBN 0719058260
Ralls-Macleod K & Robertson I - "The Quest for the Celtic Key", Luath Press, 2002 ISBN 0946487731
Ross D - "Scottish Place-names", Birlinn, 2001 ISBN 1841581739
Sutherland E - "The Seer of Kintail", Constable, 1974/1996 ISBN 0094760306
Walker C - "Scottish Proverbs", Birlinn, 2000 ISBN 1841580570
Walker J - "The Scottish Sketches of R.B. Cunninghame-Graham", Scottish Academic Press, 1982, ISBN 0707302889
Warrack W - "The Scots Dialect Dictionary", Waverly Books, 2000 ISBN 1902407091
Williamson D - "The King and the Lamp: Scottish Traveller Tales" ISBN: 1841950637
Wolfe W - "Scotland Lives" ISBN: 0903065096
Wright K - "The People say Yes", Argyll, 1997 ISBN 1874640920

Poetry and Poets:
John Barbour - "The Brus". Can be downloaded in Word format from the SFI site.
William Hamilton of Gilbertfield - "Blind Harry's Wallace", Luath Press, 1998 ISBN 0946487332
Bold A - "MacDiarmid", Paladin, 1988 ISBN 0586089128
Cameron DK - "The Ballad and the Plough", Futura, 1979 ISBN 0708815766
MacDiarmid Hugh - "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle", Scottish Academic Press, 1987 ISBN 0707305411
MacDiarmid Hugh - ’Selected Prose’, Ed. Alan Riach, Carcanet, 1992
MacDiarmid Hugh - ’Selected Poetry’, Ed. Alan Riach and Michael Grieve, Carcanet, 1992
MacDiarmid Hugh (editor) - "Selected poems by William Dunbar, Saltire Press, 1952
Phillips D - "McGonagall and Tommy Atkins", David Winter and son, 1973 ISBN n/a

We should also remember the Scottish poets who give us insights into the views from their times in history. We must not stop at Burns , but go on to such others as Duncan Ban MacIntyre, Mairi Nic Leoid, et al. Also, any copy of any of the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness is worth its weight in gold. Each volume represents the research and lectures of a two-year period, and are filled with valuable information re. customs, dialects, local histories, etc.

Scotland - the Land:
Atkinson T - "South West Scotland", Luath, rev 1999 ISBN 0946487049
Atkinson T - "The North West Highlands: Roads to the Isles", Luath, rev 1999 ISBN 0946487545
Atkinson T - "The West Highlands: the Lonely Lands", Luath, rev 1999 ISBN 0946487561
Atkinson T- "The Northern Highlands: the Empty Lands", Luath, rev 1999, ISBN 0946487553
Baird B - "Shipwrecks of the Forth", Nekton, 1993 ISBN 1897995008
Brown D & Mitchell I - "Mountain Days and Bothy Nights", Luath, ISBN 0946487154
Brown, McOwan and Mearns - "Scotland - Walker's Companion", Ward Lock1994 ISBN 070637254X
Dempster A - "The Munro Phenomenon", Mainstream Publishing, 1995 ISBN 1851586989
Fleming M - "The Sidlaws", Mercat Press, 2000 ISBN 1841830062
Gordon S - "Highways and Byways in the Central Highlands", Birlinn, 1935/1995 ISBN 1874744335
McCarthy J - "Scotland, Land and People: an Inhabited Solitude", Luath ISBN 094648757X
McNab P - "Mull and Iona: Highways and Byways", Luath, rev 1999 ISBN 0946487588
Mitchell I - "Second Man on the Rope", Mercat Press, 1992 ISBN 1873644019
MacDiarmid H - "The Islands of Scotland", Batsford, 1939
MacIntyer & Adamson - "Dundee, City of Discovery", Alvie, 1988 ISBN 09511800
Ogilvy G - "The River Tay and its People", Mainstream, 1993 ISBN 1851584064
Pritchard M & A - "Tranter's Terrain", NWP, 1994 ISBN 1897784236
Storer R - "Exploring Scottish Hill Tracks", Warner, 1991 ISBN 075150355X
Weir T - "Tom Weir's Scotland", Penguin, 1980 ISBN 014005989X

Land Reform:
Callender RF - "How Scotland is Owned", 1998 Canongate Books, Edinburgh
Cramb A - "Who Owns Scotland Now? The use and abuse of private land", Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh 1996 ISBN 1840183217
Johnston T - "Our Noble Scots Families", Argyll Publishing, 1909/2001 ISBN 1902831012
McEwen J - "Who owns Scotland?", EUSPB, Edinburgh 1977 (out of print)
Meek DE (Ed) - "Tuath is Tighearna : Tenants and Landlords", Edinburgh, 1995
Wightman A - "Who owns Scotland", 1996 Canongate Books, Edinburgh
Wightman A - "Scotland: Land and Power - The Agenda for Land Reform", 1999, Luath Press ISBN 0946487707

Durkacz VE - "The Decline of the Celtic Languages", John Donald, 1983
MacKinnon Dr K - "The Lion's Tongue", Club Leabhar, 1974
MacKinnon Dr K - "Scottish Opinion on Gaelic", Hatfield Polytechnic, 1981
MacKinnon R - "A Complete Course for Beginners in Scottish Gaelic", Teach Yourself Books
MacNeill M - "Everyday Gaelic", Gairm
O Maolalaigh, R - "Scottish Gaelic in 3 months", Dorling Kindersley, 1999 ISBN 0852853696
Thomson D - "Gaelic Learners Handbook", Gairm
Thomson D (Ed) - "Gaelic in Scotland / Gaidhlig ann an Alba", Gairm
Watson A - "The Essential Gaelic-English Dictionary", Birlinn, 2001 ISBN 1874744920
Withers CWJ - "Gaelic in Scotland", John Donald, 1984
"Gael - The Story of the First Scots", An Comunn Gaidhealach

Scottish Fiction:
I think we should remember an author who did far more for Scotland besides write books. Nigel Tranter from Aberlady Bay (via Glasgow), by his writing of Scottish fiction based on fact, was responsible for turning more Scots to nationalism than any other single individual. Although we all realise the importance of getting our "facts" right, history books can in the main be rather similar and a bit tedious, a bloody good read is another thing altogether. Tranter's "Wallace" made the blood boil, The Bruce Trilogy made us proud of our King's accomplishments culminating in Bannockburn, and his novel of Mary Queen of Scots made us understand the unforgiving nature of the English. Although not a political nationalist, Nigel Tranter spent most of his life working for the betterment of Scotland and led or was involved in practically every campaign for Scotland and the Scots. This guy has a special place in my heart and I suspect in the hearts of many other nationalists, let's not forget him when we think of Scottish literature. Jackie Stokes

Sir David Lindsay - "Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis", Canongate 1989 ISBN 0862411912
Fionn MacColla - "The Albannach", Souvenir Press, 1932/1971 ISBN 0285626744
Fionn MacColla - "And the Cock Crew", Canongate, 1945/1995 ISBN 0862415365
Fionn MacColla - "The Ministers", Souvenir Press ISBN 0-285-62396-6
James Kennaway - "Tunes of Glory", Canongate, 1933/1988 ISBN 0862412234
James Barke - "Land of the Leal", Canongate, 1939/1987 ISBN 0862411424
Neil Munro - "Para Handy", Birlinn, 1992 ISBN 1874744025
Alasdair Gray - "Lanark: A Life in Four Books" ISBN: 1841951838
Lewis Grassic Gibbon - "A Scots Quair", Penguin, 1932/1986 ISBN 0140180915
Neil M. Gunn - "A Highland River", Canongate, 1937/1991 ISBN 0862413583
Neil M. Gunn - "The Silver Darlings", Faber, 1941/1969 ISBN 0571090419
Neil M. Gunn - "The Other Landscape", House of Lochar, 1954/1998 ISBN 1899863265

Simon Taylor - "Mortimer's Deep", Balnain 1992 ISBN 1-872557155
Marten Claridge - "Slow Burn", Headline, 1994 ISBN 0747244952
Bill Duncan - "The Smiling School for Calvinsts", Bloomsbury, 2001 ISBN 0747551995
Robin Mitchell - "Grave Robbers", Luath, 1999 ISBN 0946487723
James Robertson - "The Fanatic", Fourth Estate, 2000 ISBN 1841151890
Alistair MacLeod - "No Great Mischief", Vintage, 2001 ISBN 0099283921 (Canadian author)
Andrew Murray Scott - "Tumulus", Polygon, 2000 ISBN 0748662693
Sandy Jamieson - "Own Goal", Ringwood, 1997 ISBN 1901514005
Alan Spence - "Its Colours They are Fine", and "Way to Go", Phoenix House
Iain Banks - "The Crow Road", Abacus, 1992 ISBN 0349103232
Alan Warner - "The Man Who Walks", "Morvern Callar", "These Demented Lands" and "The Sopranos", Jonathan Cape
William Scott - "The Bannockburn Years", Luath ISBN 0946487340
Ian Rankin's entire Inspector Rebus series, for aficionados of crime and Edinburgh
Quintin Jardine's 'Skinner' series, another copper based in and around Edinburgh
Christopher Bookmyre - ""One fine day in the middle of the night", "Quite Ugly One Morning", "Country of the Blind", "Not the End of the World", "A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away" and "Boiling a Frog", Abacus

The above authors are the webmaster's personal choice of modern Scottish writing, and as such may not appeal to everyone's tastes. I like them... You may note the exclusion of anything by Irving Welsh and James Kelman. If you like narratives peppered with 'swearie' at every opportunity then these authors may be to your taste. Jackie Stokes was a master of 'swearie' and frankly, told much better stories. Unfortunately none were ever published (or publishable...!)

You may also have noticed in the above lists several published by Luath Press, NWP and Birlinn. Siol nan Gaidheal have no connection whatsoever with any of these publishers but fully support them as Scottish ventures with an excellent record of publishing worthwhile books by home-grown talent. They are also on-line, at Luath Press (worth a look, their Guides are superb and should be purchased before any trip into the areas described), NWP and Birlinn respectively.

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